SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The inaugural Class trade show here sought to create an egalitarian vibe as the backdrop for the contemporary and streetwear looks being shown.
Retail buyers attending the event at the beachside Santa Monica Civic Auditorium also were treated to complimentary manicures, facials, tea and organic bananas.
Jason Bates, the founder of Class, who operates a showroom at the Cooper Design Space and runs the Coconuts and Bananas trade show in Honolulu, acknowledged that traffic was slow, citing late registrations. About 75 percent of the exhibitors registered just three weeks before the show, which ran March 1 to 3.
An estimated 115 vendors were on board, including Diesel, Triple Five Soul and Linda Loudermilk, as well as emerging lines such as Woven and Operations, which was showcasing workwear-inspired coats with contrasting leather collars and waistband belts from its fall lineup. Bender from the U.K. featured a streetwear influence with camouflage-print shirtdresses and fitted hoodie dresses.
"We wanted it to be relaxed," Bates said. "That was achieved. We can improve each time."
The 150 to 200 retailers included Macy's West, Blue Bee in Santa Barbara, Calif., Villains in San Francisco and Fred Segal Flair in Santa Monica.
"The organizers did a good job of bringing great stores to the show," said Maria McManus, sales and merchandising director of New York-based Edun, who met with representatives of August from Oakland, Calif., Los Angeles' Lisa Kline and Wendy Foster in Santa Barbara. Edun's key fall looks included organic wrap T-shirt dresses, sweater dresses and vests.
Some attendees said the show's wall-less booths and simple clothing racks gave the venue an open, communal feeling reminiscent of the early days at Project, which holds its semiannual events in New York and Las Vegas.
"This could be the next Project," said Marty Bebout, co-owner of Blue Bee, who viewed studded cardigans, twofer sweaters with silk lantern sleeves, gauzy silk polkadot shirts and other items from Quiksilver's young contemporary line.
Sprinkled in between the booths were accessories lines such as Milan-based Toy Me, featuring quirky silver pendant necklaces with bustiers and skateboards, wholesale priced from $50 to $120; Royal Elastics shoes, and eco-friendly companies selling carbon offsets, or credits, to reduce or remove global warming-causing pollution.Some vendors were on the same environmentally conscious page. Park City, Utah-based Re:volve Apparel Project creates its ribbed tanks, hoodies and cap-sleeve shirts using recycled plastic bottles and prints colors on them rather than using dyes to save on water waste. Re:volve's plans call for an extension into other categories this year, said co-owner Joe Tomlinson, who was encouraged by the show's feedback.
"The folks coming through have been serious" about buying, Tomlinson said.
Bates said he expects a larger turnout at Class for the show's return Aug. 18 to 20, when buyers can scope out Los Angeles fashions before MAGIC Marketplace starts in Las Vegas.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)